WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday approved a five-year, $307 billion farm bill with wide bipartisan support, virtually sealing President Bush’s defeat in a battle over agriculture policy.
Mr. Bush has promised to veto the bill because he says it would not do enough to limit subsidies at a time of record grain prices. His advisers said Thursday that he had every intention of making good on that vow.
Administration officials have dashed hopes among farm-state lawmakers from both parties that President Bush will sign a nearly $300 billion farm bill that they finished Thursday.
The veto warning sets up an effort by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, joined by many farm-state Republicans, to override a veto and defend government payments to farmers earning record incomes even as food prices soar.
By Laura Andrews, Globe Gazette
“This is a good bill. It’s good for Iowa, good for production, good for conservation,” said Harkin.
MASON CITY — U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said Monday he’s pleased with the new farm bill passed by a congressional conference committee after a marathon session last Thursday.
However, gaining President Bush’s favor is another matter. Bush is threatening to veto the legislation unless it substantially cuts subsidies to the nation’s wealthiest farmers.
This version of the bill still needs to be approved by the full House and Senate.
“We have it finished,” Harkin said at a news conference at the Mason City Municipal Airport. “This is a good bill. It’s good for Iowa, good for production, good for conservation.”
By Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Associated Press
“It’s not just a farm bill. This is a farm and a food and an energy bill,” said Harkin
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional negotiators reached a tentative agreement Friday on a multibillion-dollar farm bill that includes a hefty increase for nutrition programs at a time of rising food prices.
An intense series of closed-door bargaining sessions over how to pay for the five-year, roughly $280 billion bill ended Friday afternoon with senior Democrats expressing optimism that they would soon be sending the measure to President Bush.
By Jane Norman, Register Washington Bureau
“If you could assure me we could put money in the pockets of our consumers, I would be for it,” Harkin said. “What’s to keep oil companies from only cutting the cost a nickel and pocketing the rest?”
Washington, D.C. – Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Ia., today threw cold water on the idea of a gasoline tax holiday, saying it’s a bad idea that probably won’t ever be taken up by Congress.
Two presidential candidates, Republican John McCain and Democrat Hillary Clinton, both have said they back the idea of a moratorium for the summer travel months in the interests of providing relief to strapped consumers. The third major presidential candidate, Democrat Barack Obama, is opposed, saying it’s an election gimmick and won’t save that much money.
Clinton has been on the attack on the issue as she campaigns in Indiana and North Carolina. She maintains consumers need help now.